Oedipus the King: Top Ten Quotes
- Oedipus arrogantly tells the Chorus, "You pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers."
- Oedipus claims that Creon and Tiresias are engaged in a conspiracy against the crown when he charges, "Creon, the soul of trust, my loyal friend from the start steals against me... so hungry to overthrow me he sets this wizard on me, this scheming quack, this fortune-teller peddling lies, eyes peeled for his own profit--seer blind in his craft!"
- These accusations likewise fuel Tiresias' temper. Before he leaves the scene, he warns, "So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those you live with-who are your parents? Do you know? All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father's curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light!" Here, Tiresias prophesizes Oedipus' tragic fate.
- When Oedipus tells his wife that a prophecy from Delphi supposedly tells his awful fate, Jocasta reassures him, saying, "No skill in the world, nothing human can penetrate the future."
- When Jocasta asks Oedipus why he wants to see the servant, he responds, "I can hold nothing back from you, now I've reached this pitch of dark foreboding."
- As Oedipus and Jocasta return to the palace, the Chorus takes the stage, describing Oedipus in not so flattering terms: "Pride breeds the tyrant violent pride, gorging, crammed to bursting with all that is overripe and rich with ruin.... Can such a man, so desperate, still boast he can save his life from the flashing bolts of god?"
- Oedipus gives his famous quote: "O god-all come true, all burst to light! O light-now let me look my last on you! I stand revealed at last-cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!"
- Using Jocasta's brooches, Oedipus gouges out his eyes, screaming, "You, you'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness-blind!"
- Oedipus' attitude toward Creon seems dramatically altered when Creon approaches Oedipus, who implores the audience: "Oh no, what can I say to him? How can I ever hope to win his trust? I wronged him so, just now, in every way. You must see that-I was so wrong, so wrong."
- Oedipus furthers Sophocles' sight metaphor when he defends his decision to humble himself through blindness: "What good were eyes to me? Nothing I could see could bring me joy."